Football and racing upsets hit William Hill's bottomline
The bookies aren't always right...10:38 Monday 9 January 2017, 10:38 9 Jan 2017
William Hill has warned this morning that a sting of unexpected football and race results hurt its takings over the Christmas period.
Its full-year operating profit for 2016 was £260m (€300m), that's at the bottom end of its forecast range of £260-280m.
However, the UK chain adds that underlying trends in the sector remain strong.
Philip Bowcock, William Hill's interim CEO, commented: "Importantly, the improvements we saw in wagering in Online and Australia in the second half have continued in recent weeks. However, all four divisions saw customer-friendly results at the back end of the year, which translated into profits being £20m below our prior expectations.
"With key underlying trends continuing to be positive, the recent run of sporting results have not changed our confidence in a better performance in 2017."
In August of last year the company rejected a takeover bid from Rank Group and 888 Holdings who offered £3.6bn to buy the company.
Later in 2016 it was reported to be in talks with Canada's PokerStars who were interested in a £5bn merger, which would have created one of the world's largest online gambling groups. That deal is believed to have fallen through.
The company was forced to issue a profit warning in March of last year after results went against the firm at the Cheltenham Festival
William Hill's final 2016 results will be announced on Friday, 24 February 2017.
The very best bits delivered every weekSubscribe now